Welcome to the first question of Mothers Tell All: 10 Baby Led Weaning Q & A Series by Real and Unfiltered Mamas. I was hoping to receive more responses, but I will make do with the four excellent responses I received and hope that more mamas feel compelled to share their answers for the future posts. If you would like to share your experience with Baby Led Weaning click here.
The purpose of this series to offer insight from mamas who have done Baby Led Weaning and to show not only how beneficial it is for babies, but for mamas as well. My 21-month-old son is a great eater. I kid you not; he prefers vegetables and fruit over fried food and sweets any day. For the most part, I give BLW credit for Lennox being a fantastic eater. As soon as he turned six months, he got to play around with all foods and textures and learned that food comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Now if I would have blended all of those foods into purees, Lennox would have never been able to differentiate the blended foods. I hypothesize that he would have preferred the consistency of purees and would have been more hesitant to try real food if we would have done traditional weaning.
8/11/19- Question 6: What did you like/dislike about BLW?
9/11/19- Question 7: How did BLW benefit your baby?
10/11/19- Question 8: How does your child eat today?
11/11/19-Question 9: What were some of your favorite baby products for BLW? Highchairs, utensils, bibs etc.?
12/11/19- Question 10: If you had the option to do it again, or with your next child, would/will you do BLW again?
Baby Led Weaning allowed Lennox to explore solid foods types, but I credit Carlos and myself (well more Carlos who is a chef) for always diversifying his palate. The older Lennox got, and the more confident we felt in his eating abilities, there was no limit on what we fed him, except foods that were choking hazards and foods not recommended for babies under 1, for example, honey.
I remember when Lennox was nine months old, I took him to where Carlos and I work, Seasons 52, and our coworkers were astonished that Lennox was inhaling Caramelized Sea Scallops.
At that moment, I was a very proud mama. One of my biggest goals as a first-time mama was to have a non-picky child. Working in the restaurant industry was one of my biggest motivations because more often than not, I see families come into our workplace, and I see the parents get nervous because it is not that kid-oriented. There are four items on the kid's menu, none of which are breaded or fried. Sometimes we go out of our way to go to a near restaurant and provide chicken nuggets and French fries for unhappy children. One thing that baffles me the most is when the parent orders their kids pasta which is around $5.00, and they don't want anything but butter on it. Listen, I am NOT shaming whatsoever; I simply cannot imagine paying $5.00 for a little bowl of buttered pasta when a whole box of pasta at the grocery store costs $2.00>. Consider me frugal, but at that point, I would just bring my own buttered pasta in.
Ok, rant aside, I decided to do BLW because I didn’t want a picky eater. I also wanted a healthy, well-rounded eater. Thanks to BLW I have just that, and thanks to all the Mamas in my June 2017 mama group who recommended BLW to me. If it weren’t for their recommendations, I would have had no idea about it. I hope other mamas read this post and feel encouraged to give BLW a try, but don’t forget to read my BLW introductory post to know how to do it correctly. You can find that here!
Thank you to the four mothers who submitted your answers. If anyone else has done BLW share your experience with us here and you will be featured on future posts =)
Why Did You Decide to do Baby Led Weaning?
Kassandra at Adelaideandi
I thought it was the most appropriate way of feeding my daughter - getting her used to real food from the start instead of having to teach her to eat purées and then chunky food and then whole foods
Taylor at Mindful.mom_ents
It made the most sense to me. Food before one is just for fun, so they should be learning rather than having bland food crammed down their throats. Babies learn texture and flavor, and how to make chewing motions. Babies who have food blended up and fed to them are more likely to choke once other food is introduced since they are used to just swallowing everything.
Jessica at HeyMamaJess
My son showed a huge interest in table food.
Emily at This Crazy Maze
I am very big into RIE parenting (even though technically BLW is like against that)... but I believe in letting my son develop his natural abilities and just letting him do his thing as independently as possible, and BLW fell right into that for us.
The Benefits Of BLW
· Increases motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
· Encourages better eating. Your child will most likely be less picky eaters.
· It allows your baby to use all of her senses while eating and exploring with different colors, textures, and shapes.
· It allows your baby to decide when she is done eating, promoting appetite control.
· It allows your child to take an active part in mealtime and encourages socialization.
· It is less time-consuming. You offer your baby exactly (minus the condiments) what you are eating, eliminating the mess and time of having to blend purees.
· It teaches independence and confidence.
· It aids your baby in understanding what is edible and what isn’t.
· It allows you, mom, dad or guardian, to be hands-free and enjoy your food while baby enjoys hers.
· It encourages healthier eating on behalf of the parent— at least for me anyways. I wanted Lennox to be a healthy eater so in order to do that I had to change my bad eating habits at mealtime.
· It's cheaper than store-bought purees.
The Cons Of BLW
· It’s extremely messy. I recommend using a plastic bib or even better, let your baby eat in just a diaper.
· The reactions of family and bystanders who are constantly nagging you that your baby is too young to be eating this type of food or is going to choke. This is a fairly new phenomenon so be prepared to be criticized.
· I am not sure if this is BLW-related or not, or if Lennox is just having a bad experience with teething, but my guess is that BLW makes the baby’s gums harder from chewing solids so early on and teething might be a little more difficult for them if their teeth are late bloomers. Has anyone else experienced this?